Hi there, let me introduce myself. My name is Ellen, but my friends call me Ellie. I live in Norfolk, UK. Some of you may know me as Deafie Blogger. I’m 18 years old, and I’ve been profoundly deaf since birth. I wear two digital Phonak hearing aids, which allow me to communicate through lip-reading and speech. I don’t use British Sign Language, although I’d love to learn one day. I’m a typical teenager, and I love being sociable, spending time with family and friends, travelling and swimming.
Of course, I’m proud to be deaf, because I wouldn’t have achieved what I have, if I was hearing. I would just be ordinary. I am passionate about deaf awareness, no doubt about it. Over the past year I’ve really gotten interested in blogging and deaf culture, and I’m hoping that I can enthuse and encourage other deaf teenagers to prove that they can achieve anything they dream of. I love writing about everyday situations in the life of a deaf person, with the aim of making others feel as if they’re not alone.
What inspired me to start blogging was a mixture of things. My deaf boyfriend lives across the country from me in North Wales – a long distance relationship! He is doing a Deaf studies degree and I find some of the things that he learns about very intriguing. Secondly, I’ve become more confident as I’ve gotten older and it has spurred me to be more active in talking about all the problems that deaf people face. Finally, I just like to have somewhere I can share my experiences on and to rant about my deaf-related problems!
I’ve just finished mainstream education, with 12 GCSEs Grade A* to B and 3 A Levels Grade A to C, including German and Media Studies. It was a struggle, I was discriminated at one point, but I never thought I’d get this far. I have proved so many people wrong, including my parents. I truly believe that deaf children are capable of anything given the right support. It’s probably one of my biggest achievements.
I’m currently doing a Marketing Apprenticeship with a Domestic Violence Charity, which I enjoy. I also work for a newspaper publishing company doing events and promotions. I’m also a Lifeguard, Girlguiding Adult Leader, Volunteer Teaching Assistant and Avon Representative. In my spare time I enjoy running my craft business with my mum, which includes handmade jewellery. No wonder people ask me if I have a moment to breathe!
Other achievements in my life would be, being an Olympic Torchbearer for London 2012 and visiting the House of Commons at Parliament recently as part of a deaf launch.
My latest venture is here on OpenEars, and it is truly an exciting one! I look forward to the opportunity of joining the community and the working together to enhance deaf people’s lives worldwide.
Ellen Parfitt, is an 18-year-old typical, but not ordinary, teenager. She was born profoundly deaf, but it hasn’t prevented her from achieving major accomplishments in her life, such as finishing her education, scoring an marketing apprenticeship, and working as a lifeguard, Avon Representative and Girlguide Leader. She is passionate about deaf awareness and campaigning. In her free time, she runs her jewelry and gifts business with her mum.
You can follow her here on Open Ears on a regular basis, or on her personal blog, Day in the Life of a Deafie and Twitter @deafieblogger